• Atlanta police react to officer shootings in Baton Rouge

    By: Tyisha Fernandes

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - Atlanta police tell Channel 2 Action News they are hurting for the families of officers killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Sunday.

    Risking their life every day is part of being an Atlanta police officer, Sgt. Warren Pickard said.

    "If an officer is too busy concerned about his personal safety, they're really not doing their job that we signed up to do," Pickard said. "We know the risk when we take the job, but that risk goes with certain parameters and we just don't want people out here just gunning us down."

    Gavin Long shot and killed two Baton Rouge police officers and one sheriff's deputy. Three other officers were wounded. Long was killed at the scene.

    "I mean it's very concerning. I would hesitate to say that it strikes fear in me, but there is a certain part of you that fears what is happening nationwide," Pickard said.

    Former Homeland Security Undersecretary John Cohen says police officers are living in an unprecedented dangerous environment.

    "I've been involved in law enforcement for over 30 years. I have never seen an environment this dangerous and this polarized as it relates to police in this country," Cohen said.

    Atlanta Police Chief George Turner is out of town, attending a national law enforcement conference in Washington, D.C.

    Pickard addressed questions about Atlanta police changing policies in Atlanta.

    "Well we can't change what we do on a daily basis. We practice officer's safety at roll calls. We make sure that officers are wearing their vests and have all the necessary equipment to keep them safe, but we can't operate afraid because if we operate afraid, it'll jeopardize public safety," Pickard said.

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